Warm enough? [Laughter. It was in the mid-90s and very humid.] Since we had
to cut the budget a little bit in order to be able to build this thing behind
us, we got the fans and not the air conditioners for this ...
On behalf of the Space Science Commission and all commission members, we want
to also add our welcome and thank you for your being here. And I want to say
a very special thanks to Julian and Dorothy Davidson, for helping sponsor this
activity this afternoon and I'm sure later on that folks will tell you that
when you get to the part where you eat, that you'll want to thank Bill Halsey
and all the folks at Halsey Food Service.
This is an opportunity to show off what this community knows how to do the
best, and that is to pull together all of the pieces that come together and
make not only an event, but an accomplishment that's being celebrated here
Local communities, from the mayors of our closest neighbors are here, the
Madison County Commission is here. The Redstone Arsenal leadership, both
Marshall Space Flight Center and AMCOM, and they're our next-door neighbor.
State representatives, Congressional representatives, corporate sponsors,
because without some of the very significant contributions from our corporate
leadership, this place would not continue to operate. We are honored by the
presence of three of those who trusted that Dr. Mueller and his team knew
what they were doing when they lit off one of the Saturn Vs and pushed them
into inner and outer space.
[Last remarks nearly drowned out by a train passing nearby.]
We timed this just so that we would be able to put my part of the program
when the train came by. [Laughter]
This is the home of Space Camp. It's also the home of the Saturn V, both the
vertical and horizontal Saturn Vs. You know, the most recognized landmark in
this state is the Saturn V model that is erected right next to us; in fact, you
can't miss it. We were informed by Jim Ellis and the folks at Marshall that
in the pencil notes in the pilot's log, Mark Kelly -- who just undocked from
the space station about six hours ago -- in his notes, when he comes back in,
the trajectory says you go down 'til you get to Huntsville, when you see the
Saturn V, hang a hard right and land at Kennedy. [Discovery was completing its
return to flight mission and had undocked from the ISS in preparation for
returning to earth].
Gonna say a special thank you, Bill [Gurley, Saturn V Restoration Committee
Chairman], to you and everybody that's on the Saturn V Restoration Committee,
and everybody that has made contributions to that, because without people
digging in and helping out, this wouldn't be happening and we wouldn't be
breaking ground today.
This is gonna be the front door, the new front door of the Space and Rocket
Center. It will protect the original, one of only three of the original
Saturn Vs, and the most historically complete, which has just recently been
renovated by Conservation
This building is evidence of changes taking place, not only in our community,
but specifically in this part of our community. This Intermodal Center is
going to be a part of this, is going to connect the Space and Rocket Center and
the botanical gardens and the Marshall Educator Training Center, and all of
this piece of it, but who knows? The next steps are going to see an opening
of the north end of Redstone Arsenal with the new developers being considered
right now: the golf course, the new hotels, the new conference center.
Across the street from us is going to be Big Ridge Street, and high-end shops
and hotels and the like. If you want some advice: If there was any land left
to buy, you ought to buy land right out here in this part of the community.
For our special guests, this afternoon: Thank you for your vision and thank
you for your courage in living out that vision. Our challenge is to keep
reaching for that.
And of course, I have one last plug. Next year is the twenty-fifth anniversary
of Space Camp and the Space and Rocket Center. Stay tuned. A lot more is
going to be happening out here, on a day that's not quite so warm.